Kreativ - 10 Things About Me

John Wiswell recently bestowed on me the Kreativ Blogger Award. It's an honor I'm pleased to receive from someone who is so demonstrably kreativ on a daily basis.

The deal is that I will now say ten things about myself. Like John, I'm going to limit this to things about my writing.

1. Aside from high school English classes, I'm self-taught as a writer. I wasn't an English major, I have no MFA, have taken no community college composition courses, had no writing mentors when I started out, did no internships in publishing, etc. I read books and blogs, I think and I practice. Maybe this lack of formal training shows, maybe it doesn't. Hard to tell.

2. I used to have winning major writing awards (at some point) as a driving ambition, but more and more, I've been disillusioned about how works are selected for awards. I'm coming to believe it's less about quality rising to the top and more similar to elections for class president in high school. My blog isn't nearly popular enough for that sort of thing.

3. As a corollary to #2, I've always understood that to be eligible for any major awards, you have to be traditionally published. Self-published books aren't eligible for the Hugo or Nebula, let alone the National Book Award or Pulitzer. If I'm going to write off the awards, why do I want to go with a traditional model again?

4. Given that I haven't yet even finished my WIP, let alone have a novel out for sale, it's hard for me to publicly discuss my ambitions or opinions on awards (#2) and publishing (#3). I feel like there's no reason anyone should listen to me, so until I can say something meaningful, I should just keep my mouth shut.

5. Right up there along with "Nobody asked you for your opinion," the phrase, "Until you can say something meaningful, just keep your mouth shut," is one of those things that was repeatedly drilled into me at a formative age. It's why I didn't start writing fiction (or blogging about it) until I reached the age where many men start to think about hair implants and sporty convertibles. In other words, until I was able to go batshit bonkers.

6. I worry that my writing is mushy, half-baked, autodidactic drivel, like a child's fingerpainting smeared on a sheet of yesterday's newspaper.

7. In connection with #6, I worry that I'm just fooling myself and that I secretly DON'T think my writing is mushy, half-baked, autodidactic drivel and instead think it's actually not half bad, but that I am, in fact, simply incapable of properly evaluating my own work. I know this is what friends and beta readers are for, to backstop and give perspective on the quality of my writing, but like B.B. King sang, "Nobody loves me but my mother... and she could be lying, too."

8. It had been several weeks, perhaps months, since I wrote a bloody, murderous FridayFlash. Last week, though, I wrote "The Emperor's New Clothes". One of the comments (by Larry Kollar), was, "Now here is some vintage Tony Noland!" There were other, similar comments, and the piece provoked some strong reactions. I'm pleased with the attention (because I'm a sucker for that sort of thing), but it does make me wonder if my readers approach my blog with bloodlust in their hearts. And if so, should I be catering to it?

9. If overthinking things related to writing were an Olympic event, they wouldn't even bother to hold it. The Olympic Committee would just carve my name and face on a mountain in Greece, hang a giant gold medal on it and retire the event forever.

10. Despite all the sturm ung drang, I enjoy writing. True, it's a struggle sometimes to get going or to keep going. The words fight me sometimes, while other times they tumble out of me in pre-polished perfection. Nevertheless, it lets me give voice to things that I need to say. I'm glad I'm able to write, and to have others read my writing and enjoy it. And if they are lying, and are just pretending to enjoy it, the way someone might fake an orgasm to avoid hurting the feelings of a clumsy lover? Well, at least they care enough to pretend.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. Great post, Tony. Made me chuckle.

  2. I think you managed to be harder on yourself than I was on myself, Tony. Good confessions. The B.B. King lyric is my favorite.


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